Monday, March 03, 2008

From Richard Reynolds

Scan000010920, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

There are three major points of divergence in the writings about Jumbo - - (1) exactly where in Africa was he obtained as a calf [I'm sure it was Abyssinia (Ethiopia) but there are writings that put it elsewhere]- - - (2) date when he arrived in Paris (Marvin Jones found the date in old Paris records and it is a different year than what has widely been published) - - - and (3) just how tall was he when in USA.

He was not as tall as some would have him. The best I've read on that was attributed to Wm. Blackburne, first supt. of National Zoo (and formerly with Barnum & London in Jumbo's years). He said that the interior of Jumbo's special RR car was exactly 11 ft. from floor to ceiling and that one could put the width of a hand between the top of the highest point of Jumbo's back and the ceiling. So, Jumbo was about 10 ft. 9 in. tall. Still very impressive though a number of other captive African males have topped that.